Yuka Saso shoots 70 to slip at joint seventh in Orlando

Yuka Saso of Japan plays her shot from the 18th tee during the second round of the 2022 Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions at Lake Nona Golf & Country Club on January 21, 2022 in Orlando, Florida. (AFP)

Yuka Saso shot a 2-under-par 70 to drop for a share of seventh place after two rounds in the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions in Orlando, Florida Friday.

The 20-year-old reigning US Women’s Open champion opened her round with four birdies on the front nine and appeared in control in the first 10 holes before stumbling with back-to-back bogeys on the 11th and 12th.

The Fil-Japanese managed a two-round total of 138 after carding a 68 in the opening round for joint second.

She currently trails Nelly Korda by four strokes after the American grabbed the solo lead with a 66 on seven birdies against a lone bogey on the par-4 fifth.

First-round leader Gaby Lopez fired a 68 for 135 to slip at second with Danielle Kang (67), while Korda’s sister Jessica posted a 67 for 136 at solo fourth.

Celine Boutier (67) and Brooke Henderson (68) were at joint fifth with 137, while Inbee Park tied with Saso at seventh after shooting a 67.

Lydia Ko (68), Matilda Castren (66) and Stacey Lewis (69) had similar 139s at ninth.